The Waratah Studio unveiled

Tuesday 26 Mar 2013

Unique studio by Australian firm crafted specifically for height of Queen Elizabeth II

Australian architecture will take centre stage at the world-famous Chelsea Flower Show in London this May, with a unique form designed by Studio 505 set to be a key feature in the Trailfinders Australian Garden presented by Fleming’s show garden entry. The structure is titled ‘The Waratah Studio’ and has been designed by the multi-award-winning Studio 505 and built by multi-award-winning builders, Atkinson Pontifex.

The studio simulates the ‘connectivity between home and garden’ and is integral to Fleming’s’ 2013 entry designed by Phillip Johnson of Phillip Johnson Landscapes. The studio has been specifically crafted for the Queen’s height as it is hoped she will tour the garden during her yearly visit to the show, and will showcase unobstructed views not only of Johnson’s garden, but across much of the show itself.

From inside the studio visitors will be greeted with 360 degree views of the surrounding landscape thanks to a series of louvered windows and sections of clear acrylic flooring, while the exterior of the structure is accented by a series of wooden ‘petals’ representing the petals of a Waratah flower. 

The studio design is particularly close to Johnson’s heart as it has been designed as a symbolic gesture to his parents - lending on a favourite family story where the designer’s father once presented his mother with a bouquet of beautiful waratahs after returning from 18 months overseas and shortly before they became engaged.

In a display of geometric perfection, when standing front-on inside the structure looking over the garden, all vision of the recycled timber petals disappears entirely. Step one foot to the right or left, and the petals reappear to remind the voyeur where they are once more. The asymmetrical petals have been crafted out of recycled timber, computer-cut to capture natural light and create a striking dappled effect inside the studio.

Designed to disassemble into a number of components for shipping purposes, the shape of the structure itself is heavily geometric in its origin: a 12-sided polygon intersected by a 20-sided polygon.

Dylan Brady from Studio 505 explains: “The theme of rejuvenation and harmoniously intertwined opposites is incorporated in the studio’s geometry as well as in the treatment of its elements, presenting the abstraction of a flower born of fire and water: a driving concept that in a truly organic sense is reflected within every scale of the project.

“We have been working on the design of this three square metre cube for almost two years now, which goes to show exactly how much time, thought and hard work has been invested into ensuring this garden is the best display the Australians have ever revealed,” he said.

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